Body Lift Surgery After Extreme Weight Loss

Published: September 18, 2019
Category: Body Lift, Dr. Robert Wilke

You’ve done it! You set a goal to lose 60 to 90 pounds over the course of two years, and you accomplished it! You feel proud of your discipline and success, and all of your markers for health like blood pressure and cholesterol have improved. But, now it seems that there is something new to feel unhappy about when you look at your body in the mirror. Excess skin from your extreme weight loss hangs over your midsection and sags along your upper thighs. You feel self-conscious wearing form-fitting clothing to celebrate the new, smaller you.

It’s almost as if you traded one problem for another — fat for excess skin. But, there IS a solution to help you feel the confidence you deserve to after your weight loss journey.

“Extreme weight loss can be life-changing,” says Dr. Robert Wilke, a board-certified plastic surgeon with Edina Plastic Surgery. “I am so proud to work with patients who have undergone dramatic weight loss because it is such a testament to their willpower and character. It takes an extraordinary person and mindset to achieve a goal like that. I’m honored to be able to lend my surgical skills to take their results that last mile with a procedure like Body Lift Surgery.”


A Body Lift is a surgical procedure that focuses on removing excess sagging skin and fat that often results from extreme weight loss. The surgery typically includes the abdominal area, buttocks, and upper thighs. In some cases, the procedure will address the entire circumference of the midsection with incisions that extend to the lower back area.

Because a Body Lift addresses multiple areas of concern in one surgery, it is ideal for those seeking improvements to their abdomen, buttocks, hips, thighs, and waistline after weight loss. During surgery, an Abdominoplasty, or “Tummy Tuck,” incision is extended all the way around your lower torso. This technique allows your surgeon not only to perform a Tummy Tuck procedure but also lift and tighten the skin of the buttocks and slightly elevate the outer thighs.

The length and type of incision used during your Body Lift Surgery will depend on the amount of excess skin that needs to be removed and the placement of that skin. An extensive consultation is required before your surgery to map out the ideal placement of these incisions to achieve the results you desire. The surgery itself is highly customizable to the unique needs and goals of each patient.

“It’s important to note that a Body Lift is not strictly intended for the removal of excess fat,” explains Dr. Wilke. “In this case, Liposuction is a better option to address stubborn fat deposits. It is not uncommon to have Liposuction performed with your Body Lift Surgery to enhance your body’s new contours further.”


“The ideal candidate for Body Lift Surgery is someone who has lost a substantial amount of weight, 30-50% of their peak weight,” says Dr. Wilke. “This patient is experiencing sagging and drooping of the excess skin around the abdomen and wishes to have it removed to improve the overall shape and contour of their body,” he continues. “Common candidates for Body Lift Surgery are people who have undergone gastric bypass surgery, have experienced very large pregnancies with dramatic weight fluctuations, and those who have lost a substantial amount of weight through diet and exercise and now struggle with skin laxity issues.”

Anyone considering Body Lift Surgery should have a record of stabilized weight since their initial weight loss. In fact, many surgeons recommend waiting two years after your weight loss before undergoing surgery to ensure that you don’t regain the weight back. Severe fluctuations of weight after your surgery can impact the quality and longevity of your results.


“At Edina Plastic Surgery, we use a pain management protocol that allows for early walking, reduces postsurgical risk, and speeds up recovery,” explains Dr. Wilke. “You will be swollen after surgery, but you will see instant results in the overall shape and contour of your body. It usually takes about 2 to 3 weeks before you can return to work and 2 to 3 months before you can resume all of your normal activities. You must stay dedicated to your results and maintain your new weight through a healthy diet and frequent exercise.”

There is scarring after Body Lift Surgery. But, the majority of patients consider this a small trade-off to finally being free of all of the excess skin that bothered them. As Dr. Wilke advised, it is essential to maintain a healthy lifestyle and stay close to your ideal weight to protect your results. With Body Lift Surgery, you can expect your improvements to continue to evolve over the next two years as scars fade, the skin smooths, and you embrace a new, healthier lifestyle!

“Sometimes I don’t even recognize some of our Body Lift Surgery patients after they return to the practice after a year or so,” says Dr. Wilke. “I think that having that excess skin removed acts as a catalyst to propel them into an even healthier lifestyle of working out and eating right,” he continues. “As a result, they lose more weight and gain more muscle, further improving their body shape. The real change isn’t visible though; Body Lift patients absolutely radiate confidence because they finally feel like they are in the body they earned and deserve!”

Have you undergone a dramatic weight loss? Are you now struggling with excess sagging skin as a result? Schedule a consultation with an Edina Plastic Surgery board-certified plastic surgeon to discuss Body Lift Surgery by calling (952) 925-1765.

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